Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lent 3: Homily / Sermon

Zeal for your house will devour me. (John 2:17)


Here’s a good quiz for the family. Give each person a piece of paper, and ask them to write down the Ten Commandments. See who can get all ten. I bet some of them put down ‘Love your neighbour’ which isn’t one of then. And I also bet that few of them put down about covetting - and might not even know what the word means (it means jealously wanting to have what others have, sort of keeping up with the Jones’. In many ways our society is built on covetousness).

Now, we can deplore the fact that few know the ten commandments off by heart, and still less understand them, and yes, there is a point to be made, but the reciting of words is not quite the same as living them. It’s not that the words aren’t important, of course they are, but far more important than to know the words by heart is to live them from the heart.

It is one thing to know it is wrong to tell a lie - it is quite another to be outraged by the temptation to  benefit from a convenient untruth.

It is one thing to know it is wrong to steal - but it is another to turn our backs on the odd scam or bargain from a questionable source.

It is one thing to know that we should keep each Sunday by going to mass - yet another to rejoice in the celebration of our faith.

Sometimes when people hear today’s Gospel - of Jesus clearly angry, overturning the money changers’ tables and driving them out of the temple - people ask if this could be right? But Jesus’ apparent anger is a zeal for truth, a thirst for honest dealing and a yearning for a faith that comes from the heart - not words only, but words that are expressed in deeds.


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